• Nick Zacharias

Saint- Lazare landscapes at issue


One of two unoccupied houses that back onto Saint-Lazare’s Chaline Valley will be offered for sale by the town ‘as-is’ either by auction or through an agency.

The town of Saint-Lazare’s regular monthly council meeting took place September 8, with citizens again welcomed live and in person to ask questions of council. Protocols that have become routine, such as the wearing of masks when not seated, were respected. The maximum capacity of 19 residents was not reached, as several chose to submit their questions online.

Houses on the edge

Resident Richard Meades came in person to speak to council and one of the issues on his mind was the future of two houses on Charbonneau Street that back onto Chaline Valley. They were purchased by the town as they were precariously close to landslide stabilization work that had to be done. “Those houses have been empty now for well over a year,” said Meades. “They don’t have a septic system because they took the weeping field away when they took away the earth … what’s going to happen with them?” Mayor Robert Grimaudo confirmed that the houses would be put forward for sale ‘as-is’ whether at auction or through an agency, “…in the very near future,” and that any necessary work on them would have to be carried out by the purchasers.

There were further slippages on the slopes adjacent to those houses starting last March - after the stabilization work was done. According to Meades, workers came to repair the second slide without success. “It happened again, they came and fixed it, and it happened a third time,” said Meades by telephone after the meeting. He also confirmed that after the latest slide, workers came back to dig deep into the clay and reinforce the slope with rocks. Council voted Tuesday night to provisionally accept the final work that was done, based on a July 21 inspection. The provision was that the contractor must complete re-planting work, remove waste and return the access points to good condition.

Outdoor maintenance

Resident Marc Belliard inquired as to why multiple large trees that had been cut in the service of Hydro Quebec transmission lines in the Le Forestier area had not been removed, seeing as how they were not rotted and therefore could at least be put to good use rather than being left to waste. Mayor Grimaudo responded that council had had a discussion about it and agreed that the question should be put to Hydro Quebec. While smaller or dead brush is normally left to decompose naturally for environmental reasons, “…these are large trees that could be recuperated by an entrepreneur or a mill. We’ll inform ourselves with Hydro Quebec and get back to you.”

Also in the vein of outdoor maintenance, resident Gerry Foliot wrote to follow up on previous questions about the murky state of the artificial pond at the entrance to the Saddlebrook development from Côte Saint-Charles. District 1 councillor Geneviève Lachance said that while council is not prepared right now to spend the estimated $17,000 it would cost to install a new aeration fountain, they are aware of the issue. She said she is waiting for a response from the company that originally installed the pond in hopes that they can correct the unsatisfactory aeration system that is already in place.

Outdoor dog show

Included in the regular agenda was approval of a motion to temporarily allow recreational campers in the area of the Equestrian Centre for a canine event scheduled to happen on October 1 to 4, said Grimaudo after the meeting, “The dog show that normally happens indoors will be coming back this year, but in an outdoor venue.”

Storm drain frustrations

Another resolution passed was to make an official request of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing regarding an as yet unresolved request for a subsidy to finance the installation of a storm drain in the area of Frontenac Street. The project was first proposed in August of 2015 and confirmed in 2018 to have a maximum cost of $4,424,000. It was deemed a ‘priority’ by the provincial government, and yet has stagnated since that time.

Councillor Lachance said, “Residents in the sector have been very patient for years while we have been waiting for this project. We hope that this will help move the dossier forward as quickly as possible.” Mayor Grimaudo agreed and made the comment that it was also important to be sure citizens get an ‘infolettre’ explaining the steps taken and that a copy should also be sent to Soulanges MNA Marilyne Picard. He and Lachance both said that concerned residents should feel encouraged to reach out to their MNA to help her understand their five-year frustrations.

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